Arsenal v Chelsea


Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil will face a late fitness test, while defender Laurent Koscielny could miss out.

Nacho Monreal is still absent with an ankle knock, while Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey remain sidelined by hamstring injuries.

Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns, with rested duo Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas likely to return to the starting line-up.

Defender David Luiz is close to returning from a knee injury.


John Murray: “This will be Arsenal’s 60th match against Chelsea under the management of Arsene Wenger, and the first of three in quick succession with the two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final to be played over the next three weeks.

“Wenger’s meetings with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have already developed something of a narrative. Last season’s Premier League clashes were emphatically won by the home teams, before Arsenal denied the champions a double in the FA Cup Final.

“This season, they’ve played out a draw in the Community Shield (won by Arsenal on penalties) and another in the league at Stamford Bridge. After the packed recent schedule, this may be a similarly close contest.”

Twitter: @bbcjohnmurray


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “In football, there’s only one thing and that’s the next game.

“We know that our home form will be absolutely vital and we just come home from West Brom frustrated because we lost two points. We know it puts us under even more pressure to deliver a big result tomorrow.

“The target in 2018 is to win every single game, and the next one is Chelsea.”

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: “We face five tough months because we have to fight for a place in the Champions League and it won’t be easy to reach this target.

“I think now [Manchester] City have created a big gap between them and the other teams, but at the same time we have to try to put everything into every game to try to get three points and put a bit of pressure on the teams above us.”


Arsenal are very good at the Emirates Stadium, winning eight of their 10 league games there, and I’m going to go for a home win. Unlike last season, when they were purring, Chelsea still have the odd hiccup – as we have seen in their defeats at West Ham and Crystal Palace.

Prediction: 2-1

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  • Arsenal’s 3-0 win in the corresponding fixture last season is their only victory in the last 12 Premier League meetings (D4, L7).
  • The Gunners have failed to score in seven of the last nine Premier League encounters against Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have won five away matches at the Emirates Stadium in all competitions, a joint high with Manchester United.
  • There have been six red cards in the last seven fixtures between these sides in all competitions, with Chelsea having a player sent off in each of the last three.


  • The Gunners are unbeaten in six league games, their best run since a 13-match streak between August and December 2016.
  • Arsenal have won 13 of their last 15 league games at home. The exceptions, both last month, were a defeat by Manchester United and a draw with Liverpool.
  • Arsene Wenger’s side have scored in 24 consecutive Premier League home matches since a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough in October 2016.
  • They have conceded at least three goals in four of their six league fixtures against the other teams that finished in the top six last season.
  • Petr Cech is one clean sheet away from becoming the first goalkeeper to record 200 in the Premier League. He played 333 league matches for Chelsea between 2004-2015.
  • Jack Wilshere could start six consecutive league matches for Arsenal for the first time since September to October 2013.
  • This is Arsene Wenger’s 60th meeting against Chelsea in all competitions, making them the side he has faced the most as Arsenal manager (W22, D16, L21).


  • Chelsea’s only Premier League away win in the last four attempts came at Huddersfield on 12 December.
  • They could lose three successive London derbies in the Premier League for the first time since October to December 2001, when they were beaten by West Ham, Charlton and Arsenal.
  • However, they have taken 13 points from their past five league games.
  • The Blues could become the first team this season to keep five consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.